by: Michael Yoshida, Action News Jax Updated:
Florida voters will be given the chance to vote to give themselves a higher homestead tax exemption.
For homeowners, that could result in hundreds of dollars saved in taxes.
Action News Jax talked with Jerry Holland, Duval County property appraiser, to find out how many homeowners this could impact and the millions of dollars in lost revenue the county will see as a result.
“They’ll get nearly $300 in reductions,” Holland said.
Holland is talking about the amount of money some Jacksonville homeowners could save if voters approve a change to the state’s homestead exemption from $50,000 to $75,000.
“If your home is more than $100,000 up to $125,000, you’ll get part of it. Over $125,000, you’ll get the entire $25,000 additional exemption,” Holland said.
That could mean hundreds of dollars saved in taxes. To be eligible, you must own and live in your home as your permanent residence. In Duval County, approximately 188,000 homeowners currently use the exemption; about 90,000 of those would benefit from the change.
Holland said, “If your home is valued at $125,000 or more, then you’ll see another $294 reduced from your tax.”
But money saved by taxpayers means money lost by the cities. For Jacksonville, Holland said there would be an estimated $25.7 million loss in revenue.
“When you take that out, even in a billion dollar budget, those were probably something planned, something in addition, or maybe some service you were providing that you may have to delete,” Holland said.
Holland also talked about the impact the change could have on neighboring beach communities such as Atlantic, Neptune and Jacksonville beaches.
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“Anywhere by $450,000 to $200,000 in those individual cities, in addition to what the county or city of Jacksonville is reduced. They also have to look at their budgets and what do we do to make a difference,” Holland said.
Holland said voters will likely choose the savings and risk being impacted by cuts to a service. Longtime Jacksonville resident Almetha Albert agrees.
"I think saving the money is worth it to me. Yes!" Albert said.
On Monday, the legislature approved giving voters the chance to vote on this change to the homestead exemption in 2018. To pass, the change would need 60 percent of those voting to say yes. The tax break would then take effect in 2019.
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